With four biosphere reserves, nature-loving couples couldn't pick a better spot for the perfect vacation than Costa Rica. This 10-day romantic adventure begins in the capital of San José's coolest neighborhoods, followed by rip-roaring fun on the Río Pacuare, one of the nation's best rivers for whitewater rafting. Then, you're off to golden Caribbean beaches on the north coast and Puerto Viejo, where you'll embark on rainforest hikes, go kayaking, meet local Indigenous cultures, and more.


  • Relax on Caribbean beaches and visit local coffee farms
  • Brave the rapids of the Río Pacuare on a whitewater rafting trip
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise on Lake Arenal and relax in natural hot springs
  • Hike on rainforest trails, across suspension bridges, and to remote lagoons

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José, Guided Food & City Tour  San José
Day 2 Transfer to Turrialba, Coffee Tour & Cheesemaking Workshop Turrialba
Day 3 Whitewater Rafting on the Río Pacuare Turrialba
Day 4 Transfer to Puerto Viejo, Guided Tour of Cahuita National Park Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 5 Day Trip to Bribri Indigenous Village Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 6 Kayak Adventure & Rainforest Hike at Punta Uva Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 7 Transfer to Arenal/La Fortuna, Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 8 Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Hot Springs Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 9 Day Hike to Laguna de Hule Arenal/La Fortuna
Day 10 Transfer to San José, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in San José, Guided Food & City Tour 

San José's streets are a mix of modern buildings and Spanish colonial landmarks

Welcome to Costa Rica! You and that special someone are in for a real treat, as this Central American nation offers no shortage of outdoor adventures. Before hitting the famous rainforests and beaches, however, you'll arrive in the capital of San José. This dynamic city has many virtues in its own right—plus it's centrally located, making it a great base to explore the rest of the country.

After transferring to your hotel from the airport, you'll meet a guide and receive a special introduction to this city on a walking tour of Barrio Escalante. This trendy enclave near the city center is a famous nightlife hub, but its array of diverse eateries also attracts serious foodies. During the tour, you'll stop to sample some famous Costa Rican coffee and grab a bite at one of the area's gastropubs, fusion restaurants, chic cafés, and French-inspired bakeries. You can also stop at the Mercado Escalante food hall to sample various dishes all under one roof.

Day 2: Transfer to Turrialba, Coffee Tour & Cheesemaking Workshop

From the seed to the bean
Learn the entire process of producing fine coffee, from bean to cup

Rise and shine! This morning, your private driver will pick you up for the ride east out of San José, deep into Costa Rica's verdant Central Valley. Your destination is Turrialba, a region famous for its vast coffee fields and active volcanoes. Here, you'll discover some of the delicious flavors that define Costa Rica on a couple of tasty tours. 

After checking into your hotel, you'll meet a guide and visit Aquiares Estate. Sitting on the slopes of the Turrialba volcano, this is one of the country's most historic fincas (farms). On a two-hour tour, you'll stroll the fields, see the process of the cultivation process, and visit the local community, who help keep this sustainable operation in business. You'll also learn about the different types of beans grown on the estate and their different flavor profiles. The visit finishes with a tasting of Aquiares' signature coffees, characterized by a sweet and fruity flavor with notes of chocolate and cinnamon. 

The next destination is Finca la Florita. Like Aquiares, this cattle farm is a sustainable operation that has opened its doors to visitors. Here, you'll meet the mother and daughter owners, who will reveal generations-old secrets to how they produce their famous artisanal cheeses. You'll spend about 1.5 hours on the farm, learning about different cattle breeds, their feeding, milking, how to process the milk, and, of course, sampling the finished cheeses. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 3: Whitewater Rafting on the Río Pacuare

Expect to get wet on this challenging ride
Brave the rapids of the Pacuare on a thrilling rafting adventure

Turrialba offers some of the finest river rafting in the country—and today, you'll take full advantage. Get the adrenaline pumping this morning with a whitewater rafting trip on the Río Pacuare, a world-famous rafting destination. Your private guide will begin with a safety briefing before you and your significant other gear up and complete a crash course in rafting techniques. Next, launch into the river to tackle some of the 19-mile (30 km) stretch of Class III and IV whitewater rapids. 

The trip will take you through one of Costa Rica's most impressive primary rainforests, packed with exotic plants and animals. Between navigating the thrilling rapids, you'll float along serene sections of water where you can spot wildlife on the banks or even take a cooling swim. Passing through a deep canyon with cascading waterfalls is a highlight. Finally, you'll disembark and return to your hotel. The day ends with a romantic dinner back at your hotel in Turrialba.

Day 4: Transfer to Puerto Viejo, Guided Tour of Cahuita National Park

You'll likely see howler monkeys in their natural habitat on a tour of Cahuita's rainforests

Say goodbye to the Central Valley this morning and take a private transfer around 3.5 hours east to the sun-drenched Caribbean coast. Your destination is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a beach town beloved for its supreme surf breaks, fringed by mangroves and backed by thick rainforests home to native wildlife. After dropping off your bags at the hotel, you'll head out to experience the Caribbean coast's natural wonders on a guided tour of Cahuita National Park.

Lying just north of town, this 6,754-acre (2,732 ha) protected area is renowned for its coastal rainforest, soft white-sand beaches, and crystalline waters, home to the country's largest coral reef system. The adventure begins with a scenic cruise to Punta Cahuita, where you'll anchor up for some snorkeling to glimpse dozens of varieties of fish, along with rays, sea turtles, and even reef sharks. Go for a hike along Cahuita's famous rainforest trails, where you can spot exotic animals in the trees, like sloths, howler monkeys, and tropical birds.

Day 5: Day Trip to Bribri Indigenous Village

Bribri Indigenous One Day Experience
Visit an Indigenous village in the jungles near Panama
Plan your trip to Costa Rica
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

This morning's excursion combines culture and adventure as you head south of Puerto Viejo to the Panamanian border. Here, nestled in the Talamanca Mountains, is the small village of Bambú. Upon arrival, you'll meet a local guide and hop in a dugout canoe for a ride on the Río Yorkín to the Bribri Indigenous village deep in the tropical forest. The Bribri have inhabited the country's southern region for centuries, maintaining their culture, language, and traditions in the face of ever-encroaching modernization.

Once here, you'll enjoy a guided tour of the village's organic cocoa and banana plantations. After a snack of plantation-fresh fruit, you'll next visit the Río Skui, where you can stroll above the water on its famous suspension bridge. On the other side, you can take a refreshing bath in the river's natural watering holes. Following this is a break for a delicious Bribri lunch.

Later, you'll visit the local women's association, Stibrawpa, to learn about their good work. This community project was started in the '90s to help Brirbri women overcome rampant unemployment. You'll learn about the project's sustainable tourism initiatives and participate in a traditional chocolate-making workshop. During this tasty experience, Brirbri women will show you how to make decadent chocolate the traditional way from local cacao (cocoa) fruit. Afterward, you'll return to Puerto Viejo.

Day 6: Kayak Adventure & Rainforest Hike at Punta Uva

Relax on the soft white sands of Punta Uva after a day of adventure

Lace up your hiking boots and put on your waterproof clothes because more rainforest and river fun awaits today. Leave in the morning on a combined kayak/rainforest hike, starting with your arrival at Punta Uva. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, known for its tranquil, reef-protected waters and powdery white sands. There, you'll hop in a kayak and paddle up the coast, passing sea cliffs, caves, and rainforests running right up to the shoreline. 

Then, enter the mouth of the Río Punta Uva and head up this calm river with its rainforest-lined banks. In the water and treeline, you should be able to spot exotic animals like monkeys, sloths, river turtles, iguanas, bats, and more. After a while, you'll return to the beach and take a break for a swim and a snack of fresh fruit. Finally, join your naturalist guide for a short hike into the rainforest to spot even more exotic flora and fauna. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Puerto Viejo.

Day 7: Transfer to Arenal/La Fortuna, Sunset Cruise on Lake Arenal

Enjoy prime views of the volcano as you cruise around Laguna Arenal

Bid farewell to the Caribbean this morning as you meet your driver for the 4-5-hour ride inland to La Fortuna. This small town northwest of San José sits at the base of Arenal, an active volcano whose iconic cone is perpetually snorting great plumes of white smoke. Though highly active, the town is safe from Arenal's fury, and, in fact, it's precisely this geothermal activity that fuels the area's famous hot springs.

Upon arrival, you can expect a bit of romance, as after checking into your resort hotel, you'll transfer to nearby Laguna Arenal for a sunset cruise. Step aboard the boat and relax as you travel around the region's most famous body of water. As you go, a naturalist guide will point out various animals you'll spot on the lake and shoreline. These include water birds like flycatchers and kingfishers, as well as monkeys, coatis, and sloths in the trees. And as the sun dips behind the volcano, enjoy a glass of fine wine paired with a delectable cheese platter as you cuddle up with your beloved.

Day 8: Arenal Hanging Bridges & La Fortuna Hot Springs

Arenal Hanging Bridges
A walk on Arenal's hanging bridges isn't your typical stroll

Eat a hearty breakfast this morning, as you'll need the energy. Afterward, you'll transfer to the famous Arenal Hanging Bridges. This rainforest trail system features a network of bridges above the forest canopy, affording incredible views of Arenal volcano. Some elevated walkways are hundreds of feet long and up to 180 feet (55 m) above the rainforest floor.

The route you'll follow is 2 miles (3 km) long, crossing 10 fixed bridges and six hanging bridges with lengths between 16 and 328 feet (5-100 m). It's also a great activity for birding, as there are more than 350 avian species in the area, including various motmots.

After exploring the bridges, your guide will drop you off at one of La Fortuna's famous hot springs, where you can soothe your muscles with a dip in mineral-rich waters. These springs have been used as therapeutic baths for centuries. End the day with a nice dinner at your resort's restaurant, which serves Costa Rican dishes and international fare.

Day 9: Day Hike to Laguna de Hule

Keep your eyes peeled for tropical species such as the purple-throated hummingbird on today's hike

The last hike of this honeymoon adventure is the most epic, as it's a full-day trek to Laguna de Hule. You'll set out from La Fortuna early in the morning and drive 1.5 hours south of Arenal to Juan Casto Blanco National Park, your starting point. From the trailhead, hike through the plains along a volcanic crater, then make your way into the rainforest toward the lagoon.

As you go, your expert guide will point out the flora and fauna in this famously biodiverse area. The topography is interesting, too, as the landscapes shift from grasslands to cloud forests to volcanic rock, making for a wide array of ecosystems within a relatively small area. (Keep your eyes peeled for tropical birds, monkeys, and sloths). You'll also pass several other lagoons before reaching the magnificent Hule, located at the base of the Cerro Congo volcano. Stop here and enjoy a traditional Costa Rican lunch with a local family.

After eating, you can relax and enjoy spectacular views of the mountains. Then, you'll hike back down the trail and transfer back to La Fortuna.

Day 10: Transfer to San José, Depart

Sunset over Costa Rica's Caribbean shores

Your 10-day getaway draws to a close today, but your memories of romantic Costa Rica will endure long after you return home. Enjoy one more tropical breakfast at your hotel before meeting your driver for the 2.5-3-hour ride back to San José and the airport, where you'll catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Romantic Escape to Central & Caribbean Costa Rica - 10 Days
Map of Romantic Escape to Central & Caribbean Costa Rica - 10 Days